Close January transfer window for good, says Wenger

LONDON Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:29am GMT

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger gestures during their English Premier League soccer match against Chelsea at The Emirates in London December 23, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger gestures during their English Premier League soccer match against Chelsea at The Emirates in London December 23, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

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LONDON (Reuters) - Arsene Wenger says the January transfer window should be scrapped and believes few big deals will go through before it closes at the end of the month, the Arsenal boss said on Friday.

"I would sign (up) for the January transfer window to be scrapped completely," Wenger told a news conference ahead of the Premier League leaders' home clash with struggling Fulham.

"The January transfer market will not be busy, it is a low-key market this year.

"The financial resources this season explains why the league is so tight."

Arsenal splashed out a club record 42 million pounds ($68.64 million) for Mesut Ozil and injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott have led to speculation that Wenger may try to bolster his squad this month with new signings.

Wenger, however, has never been a fan of signing players in January and earlier this week labelled transfer talk "distracting".

"We have a very even squad, quality wise," Wenger said on Friday. "We are on a good run and that helps confidence. At the moment we are not close to signing anybody."

Despite Fulham's lowly league position, just a point above the relegation zone, Wenger believes the London club will avoid the drop under new manager Rene Meulensteen.

"Fulham have struggled at home but I believe they have enough quality to stay in the league," he said.

As well as Walcott and Ramsey, Arsenal will also be without Mikel Arteta and Nicklas Bendtner against Fulham, while Tomas Rosicky and Nacho Monreal face late fitness tests.

($1 = 0.6119 pounds)

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by John O'Brien)

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